Britain’s Cotswolds are where you should head for a romantic retreat. Green hills and valleys are set with country house manors and charming villages. Manor hotels excel in creature comforts such as fireplaces, afternoon tea and elegant home-style furnishings. But there are also plenty of “self-catering cottages” to rent, ranging from cozy stone abodes to converted churches, school houses and barns.
Here are 10 romantic and cozy options for your getaway to the Cotswolds.
The Slaughters Manor House | Lower Slaughter
The drawing room of The Slaughters Manor House invites cozy rest by the fire or a gaze at the gardens — Photo courtesy of Andrew Brownsword Hotels
The Slaughters Manor House is a 17th-century manor house converted to a modern hotel. Although it’s been updated, the manor house is still there; you’ll feel like the original lord or lady when dining on breakfast in your canopied bed.
Afternoon tea is romantic in a fireplace-lit library, furnished like an elegant and cozy home. Outdoors, the lawn is laid for a croquet match and tennis courts wait for the serve.
Later in the afternoon, amble into the bar for a cocktail or locally crafted ale. After dining on s six-course tasting menu at the onsite restaurant, head out for a hand-in-hand stroll in the pretty Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter.
The Porch House | Stow-on-the-Wold
The Porch House dates back to 947 AD, but the old blends with the new in this country inn — Photo courtesy of The Porch House
The Porch House gives you bragging rights for staying in Britain’s oldest inn, dating to 947 AD. Strict British preservation codes keep very old elements intact, so you see exposed beams, wooden floors and stone walls.
A recent remodel added contemporary design to this 13-room country pub and inn. Choose a room with a skylight among exposed beams.
Lift a glass of local ale with new friends and dine in the courtyard garden – when rain isn’t falling as it often does in the Cotswolds. The Porch House is in Stow-on-the-Wold where town’s hilltop setting delivers panoramic views.
Broad Oak Cottage | Stow-on-the-Wold
There are plenty of “self-catering cottages” to rent in the Cotswolds; Broad Oak Cottage is a favorite with visitors — Photo courtesy of Stow Cottages
You might prefer the privacy of a “self-catering cottage” for your romantic Cotswold interlude. Broad Oak Cottage in Stow-on-the-Wold invites romance with its storybook appearance – the old oak front door seems to open to a secret world.
Snuggle up under exposed beams in front of the fire when clouds spit rain. It’s a three-minute walk to restaurants and antique shops in Stow.
No. 8 the Square | Upper Slaughter
Your own little stone cottage can be the ultimate romantic experience, and No 8 the Square has all the right elements — Photo courtesy of No 8 The Square
No. 8 the Square is a self-catering cottage located in pretty Upper Slaughter near the banks of the River Eye. Painters, photographers, and seekers of peace and quiet favor this village. And they do keep it quiet here.
In 2013, the local council objected to a tricycle-peddling ice cream vendor. Noise was the issue, but their stated objection was that children might climb on the cart and fall in the river. Three-bedroom No. 8 the Square has ample room for ice cream in its modern kitchen.
Buckland Manor | Broadway
This curtained and canopied bedroom is one of 15 at Buckland Manor — Photo courtesy of Andrew Brownsword Hotels
The name “Broadway” hardly conveys a quiet, pastoral village. Yet, Broadway is just that with the right mix of shops and restaurants to keep you content for days.
Buckland Manor, just a mile down the road, heaps on comforts in a 15-room English manor house. Max out romantic factors with a curtained, canopy bed and fireplace in your room.
Fresh local produce and the manor’s own herbs play into the dining menu. Grab Oscar’s leash – he’s the hotel’s Yellow Labrador – and head out to explore the manor’s 15 acres with your new best friend.
Rambling Rose Cottage | Upper Oddington
Rambling Rose Cottage is one of many that can be rented from UK-based Character Cottages — Photo courtesy of Character Cottages
The Cotswold region has lots of cottages available for rent, many of them with a romantic flair. Rambling Rose Cottage in Upper Oddington is a cheery stone cottage with a wood-burning stove and small courtyard tucked behind a stone wall. Head out to popular Horse & Groom pub, just a short walk away, if you ever feel like leaving your comfy cottage.
The Painswick | Painswick
Afternoon tea at The Painswick can be a fireside treat — Photo courtesy of The Painswick
Romance-seekers may choose the room with a Romeo-and-Juliet balcony at The Painswick, but this 16-room hotel has ample appeal thanks to a tasteful contemporary up-do in 2016. The fact that the restaurant has a Michelin-starred chef gives a clue.
Afternoon tea by the fire suits lazy moods. Or perhaps you might fancy a walk to explore the village of Painswick. Visit St. Mary’s Church dating to the 1400s, or stroll on Cotswold Way, a 100-mile path passing through town.
Foxhill Manor | Broadway
Birch Room is one of eight rooms in Foxhill Manor, a 1909 Arts and Crafts style manor house hotel — Photo courtesy of Foxhill Manor
If you really want to hide your love away, Foxhill Manor will do the trick with its 400-acre wooded estate. The eight-room manor house is fresh and bright, and was built in 1909 during the rise of the Arts and Crafts architecture and design movement born in the Cotswolds.
For more on Arts and Crafts, visit the Gordon Russell Museum in nearby Broadway or Court Barn in Chipping Campden.
Barnsley House | Cirencester
Barnsley House in Cirencester is a country manor with a famous garden — Photo courtesy of Barnsley House
The gardens at Barnsley House are famous, and if a spa and hydrotherapy pool fit your romantic notions, Barnsley House has those, too – plus a helipad should your arrival be by ‘copter.
Don’t let that reference scare you; Barnsley House room pricing is not off the charts, though expect to pay a bit more if you choose the Rosemary Verey suite with its own grotto and conservatory.
Barnsley House is located in Cirencester, a historic Cotswold market town. Market stalls still spring up on Mondays and Fridays.
Dovecote Barn | Tetbury
A refurbished barn would suit couples traveling together — Photo courtesy of Doughton Cottages
Should your notion of a romantic journey include other couples, you can rent large places including refurbished schoolhouses, churches and even barns. Dovecote Barn and it’s twin, The Pantiles, boast fireplaces and heated floors for the ultimate in getting cozy. Tetbury’s shops and restaurants are just a mile away.